Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Finding the Winning Equation

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Finding the Winning Equation

Article excerpt

The word spread through campus, reaching more and more students with every victory.

Evan Tencer watched the home crowds swell. The New Milford native heard professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology mention the football team in class. Students randomly stopped the defensive lineman and his teammates to congratulate them.

MIT is known for many things. Its standing as a premier academic institution (No. 7 in this year's U.S. News & World Report rankings). The 80 or so Nobel laureates it has produced.

But as an undefeated football power?

Some didn't believe it -- at least not until they read about it in a newspaper.

"We're actually getting other students on campus recognizing that we actually have a team to begin with and we're actually good," said Tencer, a Bergen County Academies alum who played football for Bergen Tech. "Almost every professor that I ran into at Sloan [School of Management] knew about the football team because they all read The Wall Street Journal."

Tencer and No. 24 MIT will travel to Bangor, Maine, to play Husson University today in a first-round Division III playoff game, the first in school history. The Engineers -- what else could their nickname be? -- are undefeated for the first time in a nine-game season (9-0) after winning their first New England Football Conference championship.

"I would say we're the only team that's solving physics problems before practice on the same whiteboard as we're diagramming plays for football," Tencer said.

Seventeen of the 81 MIT players were high school valedictorians, and quarterback Peter Williams majors in aeronautical and astronautical engineering and wants to be a rocket scientist.

When coach Chad Martinovich was asked if he thought any of his players might end up in the National Football League, he laughingly replied to CBS-TV, "There's a better chance one of them could own an NFL team. …

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